"Sugarloaf" - Sugarloaf (1970)
I'd been keeping an eye out for Sugarloaf's debut album with their "Free Bird" signature song...“Green-Eyed Lady” for a long time. Not an intense search, mind you, but if I ever saw a good copy, I knew I'd pick it up. But for whatever reason, this one had been playing hide-and-seek much longer than I expected. In other words, finding a nice copy of this album was a green-eyed bitch! It includes their original 7-minute hit song...before later being chopped up into a variety of shortened and abused versions for radio and comps. Plus, I was curious about the rest of the album as well.
There are only six songs on this album and three are instrumentals. The music is very Hammond heavy courtesy of the talented Jerry Corbetta and has that early 70s rock vibe you would expect. Most critics give the album a high 3 outta 5 and that's about right. Sugarloaf doesn't really push anything forward, but it's pretty good for what it is. Apparently, the band's sophomore album is the stronger, but I've yet to hear it.
Favorites are the outstanding opening track..."Green-Eyed Lady” with its teasing fake-out and extended breaks and an overall jazzy portent vibe going on. Great riffs and fills. They do no wrong on this song. The exceptional instrumental “Medley: “Bach Door Man”/ Chest Fever" is really good, too. I especially like their transitions into The Band cover..."Chest Fever." Never fails to please. And after "Green-Eyed Lady," it's the proggiest Sugarloaf gets on the album. And finally, though the band doesn't quite take the ball to the house, their instrumental cover of “Train Kept A Rollin” is still a pretty fun listen. Side one is definitely the stronger, but the closing track "Things Gonna Change Some" is a nice wrapup.
My copy has a hype sticker promoting “Green-Eyed Lady” on the front and came home with me for less than $10. Purchased at an A-OK Record Swap from a dealer who seems to always have at least one thing I want.
"Sugarloaf" (inside gatefold)
SIDE A MATRIX
LST-7640-1 (2) K
SIDE B MATRIX
"Green-Eyed Lady" - Sugarloaf / "Sugarloaf" (1970)
A1 "Green-Eyed Lady" 6:49
A2 "The Train Kept-a-Rollin' (Stroll On)" 2:23
A3 "Medley: "Bach Doors Man" / "Chest Fever" 9:00
B1 "West of Tomorrow" 5:25
B2 "Gold and the Blues" 7:15
B3 "Things Gonna Change Some" 6:38
Jerry Corbetta - organ, piano, clavichord, vocals
Bob Webber - guitar, vocals
Bob Raymond - bass
Myron Pollock - drums
Bob MacVittie - drums ("Green-Eyed Lady")
Veeder van Dorn - vocals (B1, B3)